The placement of the 3m-wide screen and opposite wall seating aren’t where you’d naturally expect, but as the pool table had to be retained and the room has doors at both ends, designing the cinema across the room’s shorter throw was the sensible option. A 5.1.2 speaker configuration using on-wall surrounds, in-ceiling heights and behind-screen positioning for LCR speakers and subwoofer (making use of the attic eaves) was chosen, with power and processing from an Arcam AVR550 receiver – the latter’s Dirac room correction suite employed to tackle the cinema’s unusual shape.
Adding to the room’s galactic aesthetic are two key details. Firstly, a vast 8m x 2m fibre optic star ceiling, using modules from Starscape, was installed – surrounding it is an RGB ‘halo frame’. This, plus additional lighting and AV operation, is handled by Control4 automation hardware.
The good news is, whether I relied on the onscreen menus or the MultEQ editor app for speaker calibration, Audyssey nailed the delays and crossover settings for my speakers with dead-on balls accuracy. This would have blown my mind right out the back of my skull just a few years ago, but I’m honestly starting to take for granted as the norm rather than the exception.
Throughout my testing, I employed the SR8012 in several different configurations, including a 5.2.4 setup with RSL’s new CG5 speaker system and pair of RSL Speedwoofer 10S subs as the bed, with a quartet of GoldenEar SuperSat 3 satellite speakers hook-mounted to the ceiling temporarily. I did the bulk of my listening relying simply on the aforementioned RSL 5.2-channel system, and also set up the SR8012 right next to Denon’s AVR-X4500H in the same room, both connected to a pair of RSL CG5 bookshelves positioned side-by-side, for the purposes of direct comparison (levels matched, of course). I ended my evaluation with the Marantz powering a simple stereo pair of Paradigm Studio 100 v5 towers.”